2016/2017 is the maiden season for Remo Stars in the Nigeria Professional Football League but things haven’t gone the way they would have liked. The Sky Blues Stars are without a win in their last eight league games (three draws, five losses), which has left them rock bottom of the table and the odds are against them to beat the drop with just five games left to wrap up the season.
When the season was about to kick-off, the team were upbeat about their chances of survival. Unfortunately, they lost 2-1 to current league leaders Plateau United on the opening weekend and when other bad results followed, doubts began to creep into the hearts of the fans.
Nduka Ugbade – who brought Remo into the Nigerian top flight was relieved of his duties and in came Fatai Osho – who had a previous stint with the club, from Nigeria National League outfit Crown FC of Ogbomoso.
Osho struggled to get the team ticking, as his youthful side found it difficult to win any of the first five games played under his tutelage. Since then, the team has remained in the relegation zone.
Off the pitch, Remo Stars has done some good business deals, securing a lot of sponsorship deals here and there. Fan engagement has also been superb and this further highlights how well positioned the club is administrative wise.
With relegation almost confirmed, what does the team need to do from here?
In recent weeks the team has been giving competitive debuts to various academy and fringe players. This is the way to go and I see it as a reasonable step in the right direction for the team; knowing fully well that the die has been cast and a life in the NNL has to be prepared for.
Another major thing the club needs to do is to ensure they retain their key players. This might not be easy to achieve but it would ensure they return back to the NPFL in good time. Heartland is a perfect example, after they got relegated in controversial circumstances last season, most of their players stayed back and a return to the top-flight is within reach as they are currently top of the NNL Southern Conference.
The most important thing is to ensure Fatai Osho stays with the team. Given the time he has spent with the team so far, the former Kogi United gaffer, who has a possession based philosophy, has been able to baptize the players in it. This is a good development and something that must continue for the good of the game.
Things are looking bright off the pitch for Remo Stars but if they are going to gain NPFL promotion for the second time in their short history, club owner Kunle Soname and other members of the board must work hard to keep the team together.
How will Remo Stars cope with life away from the NPFL? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Follow Samuel on Twitter: @Undisputed_Jsam
Photo Source: Remo Stars